The venue and promoter have issued statements after the Berlin club called off this weekend's event over "irreconcilable differences" when R4R voiced solidarity with Palestinians.
The Berlin club called off this weekend's party after Room 4 Resistance participated in the social media campaign #DJsForPalestine, coordinated by PACBI (Palestinian Campaign For The Cultural And Academic Boycott Of Israel). They announced the cancellation along with a statement on Facebook, writing, "Due to the irreconcilable differences, we decided to cancel the upcoming Room 4 Resistance x Cómeme at our venue. Calls for boycotts for such as against Israel, shared by the R4R-collective, profoundly disrespect our political understanding. We as ://about blank want this place to be a room for productive political debates, different and diverse positions—but no platform for structural anti-Semitism."
In response, Room 4 Resistance further explained their position in a Facebook post. "In addition to being queer, femme and non-binary forward, trans-positive, and sex-positive, we are anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-colonialist, anti-apartheid and therefore opposed to the violent oppression of the Palestinian people," they write. "Since they suffer this oppression at the hands of the state of Israel, we understand why Palestinian rights groups are calling for a peaceful protest and cultural boycott."
They also address ://about blank's claims that supporting a boycotting of Israel is the equivalent to "structural anti-Semitism": "Some groups consider any criticism of the state of Israel to be tantamount to anti-Semitism. This is a logical fallacy. Equating an ethnicity with the state—such that resisting the state is deemed to be racism—is itself ethno-nationalist logic. It is possible to be both anti-racist (and therefore, opposed to anti-Semitism) AND critical of a state that targets an ethnicity for oppression. Considering that the state of Israel recently passed a "Jewish Nation-State Law," it's hard to imagine how one could be anti-ethno-nationalist and *not* critical of the state of Israel’s policies." Read their complete statement.
://about blank has also issued a statement, titled "Shit Is Fucked." They describe why they "find the support of Room 4 Resistance's boycott campaign indefensible," and go into historical context: "In Germany, this sort of call to boycott takes place, moreover, on a special terrain of discourse: a place where the don’t-buy-from-Jews campaign led to an industrialized mass-murder of Jews that was accomplished by the local community... In the context of the current radicalization of discourse explicitly towards the right, attacks on Jews by average Germans, ardent neo-Nazis, and jihadists are justified by Israeli policy. In this kind of societal aggravation, boycott campaigns renew the construction of the enemy stereotype, which we decidedly reject." Read the club's full statement.
Room 4 Resistance is now crowdfunding to cover the costs of artists' travel fees, time and other expenses. Remaining funds raised will be donated to a TBC charity "that fights against the rise of right-wing politics in Germany."
Room 4 Resistance illustration credit: Rudy Loewe
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